Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby Bump Portraits

Hubby and I took some studio portraits with the bump at around 7 months back in June. Here are some of the anonymous shots which we love (sorry no face hehe)





These shots were done at Jim Liaw Photography at their Hartamas studio.

Looking forward to shooting Baby Lucas!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oh So Happy!

Yippeeee!!! I was just informed that I'm one of the three lucky winners on Beetrice's Review's Clinique Happy Giveaway. What a way to start a weekend! Thank you Beatrice! Thank you Clinique!

Hehehe you know what; I've been told that pregnant women has 'bump luck'; some Chinese myth; maybe there's some truth in it after all? *grin*



Clinique Happy for a Happy mom-to-be! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Post Natal Weight Loss Motivation

There are six weeks to go till the birth of our Baby Boy, hence I know this post is rather premature. Ya ya I know I should not think about this but focus on my delivery and confinement but I can't help it. Part of my consciousness is bombarding me with fearful thoughts of not losing the "baby fat" ever and alas, woe to me I stumbled upon some really OLD photos from my defunct and outdated Multiply site which kind of freaked me out! (I had Multiply during those pre-Facebook, pre-Blogger days!)

Anyway it depresses me at how much weight has sneakily crept upon me over the years. Being in a stable relationship plus having pudgy genes does that to one.

My weight history as far as I can remember:
Best weight ever in 2004: below 45kg!
Wedding weight in 2007: between 46 - 48kg I think
Pre-baby weight in Dec 2009: 52kg
Last weight-in at 32 weeks: 63.5kg
I created this montage to start psycho-ing myself into my future gorgeous post-baby, post-nursing body. Will I make it? How low should we aim? Pre-wedding or post-wedding weight? I doubt we'll ever go below 45kg anyway, so let's wait and see. I'll probably be lucky if I can go back to my pre-baby weight at 52kg by year end. Not only that, we also have to deal with the stretch marks, cellulite, flabbiness etc.


Well, even though I may find that I'll fall short of what I used to be in my mid-twenties, I know it will be worth it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

About the Doctor

I get quite a few queries on the ob-gyn that I'm seeing for my pregnancy and why I chose the hospital I chose. I will share some basic facts here, hope it helps anyone who may be seeking such information:

Dr. Wong Sum Keong
MBBS (Mal), MRCOG (Lond), Fellowship in Gynae. Oncology (UK)
Consultation Obsterician & Gynaecologist
Gynaecological Oncologist

Hartamas Women Specialist Clinic
4-1, Jalan 31/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2300 1990, 2300 1996
(Consultation Hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays between 4 - 7pm)

Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur (PHKL)
Suite B409, Fourth Floor (new Specialist wing, towards Starbucks)
3, Jalan Bukit Pantai,
59100 Kuala Lumpur.
Appointments: 03-2296 0733, 2296 0472 (Ask for Jothi; a really helpful nurse!)
(Consultation Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 9am - 1pm)

PHKL 24 Hours Emergency Numbers
Labor Ward: 03-2296 0909
PMC Operator: 03-2296 0888

For room rates and more details; you may check out the Official PHKL Website.

At this point, I do not have concrete details on the labor and delivery charges but I will update it eventually. Overall I do not personally find Dr Wong very expensive but then again I don't have extensive comparison to review the costs here and I'm definitely no expert on the medical rates where Malaysian private hospitals are concerned and I do not intend to go into all that here.

So coming to why I chose Doctor Wong, see below:
  • His reputation as a pro-natural doctor.
  • I was recommended by an ex-colleague who had several in the family going to him as their ob-gyn and they were all successfully natural vaginal births.
  • He is very gentle and considerate as a person and very experienced as an ob-gyn.
  • Also, I must also state that I'm one of those who is more comfortable with a male ob-gyn; I don't know why but they give me the confidence that they are more objective and compassionate. My mum says so anyway.
  • Anyway I'm not the only one who thinks so; in fact his schedule is so full that you may end up waiting for hours. Sometimes you get canceled-out if he has an emergency c-section or delivery which clashes with your appointment. It happens and can't be helped, you'll just have to reschedule and come back again, so choose a clinic which is near your home or you'll be cursing till no end!
And why I chose PHKL:
  • For strange reasons, ever since young I wish I was born there!
  • The location is convenient and they have good facilities.
  • They do not appear so overly-high density and over-crowded as compared to some hospitals.
  • Everyone knows where it is and so it's easy for family to visit.
  • I know I can reach it within reasonable time despite whatever traffic condition; a crucial factor in case of emergencies! Plus it's very near both our workplace.

Overall I liked the doc and both his clinics are very accessible and convenient for us. If you decide to engage Dr Wong in Pantai, do bring along your book, magazine, iphone, ipod, pillow, snacks, water bottle, whatever as the wait can get long on most days.

Just a tip; you've got to like the doctor and his staff as you'll be seeing them very regularly throughout your pregnancy. In fact it's almost weekly towards the last month, so a convenient location, good chemistry and a team of helpful staff is a plus point.

The Hospital Bags Checklists


On Sunday I had slight abdominal cramps. I didn't freak out as my rationale mind told me it was probably the dinner. Well, it went away the next morning so it was probably gas. If it was some pre-labor contractions I wouldn't have been able to drag myself to work yesterday anyway! 

However, got me thinking that any day from now on could be Labor Day. I told myself to quickly pack up my hospital bag. Actually I've got a list ready a couple of weeks ago and I've packed pretty much one-third of it. More than half the stuff can't exactly be packed yet e.g. my smelly pillow and the Krazy Koala (duh then how will I sleep till that day comes?) and the spectacles of course!

There are 2 bags to pack: the Momma Bag and the Baby Bag. Just for the benefit of the curious and moms-to-be, here are my two bag checklists:


The Momma Bag 

Clothes
  • Pink monkey robe and matching bedroom slippers
  • Nursing gown
  • Sleeping gown
  • Nursing / sleep bra
  • Disposable / normal knickers
  • Button down top / going home clothes 
  • Socks for sleep
Toiletries and Sanitation
  • Avene spray
  • Bog roll, box tissues, cotton pads, wet wipes ( I don't trust hospital's quality!)
  • Skincare, fragrance, deo, shampoo, lipbalm, lotion etc
  • Toothbrush, tooth paste, floss, mouthwash
  • Brush, hairclips, hair bands
  • Maternity pads, nursing pads
  • Lens case, solution and glasses  
Comfort
  • Ventolin inhaler & nasal spray  
  • Krazy Koala, Ashley Bear, Smelly pillow (hope we can find you guys some space!)
  • Own blanket (the one my mum made which I used pre-marriage; woohoo)
  • Aromatherapy oils and massage roller
  • Water bottle
  • Chewing gum
  • Hot / cold compress (If I can find them!)
  • Room spray (not sure if the hospital room and loo will smell funny) 
Others
  • My birth plan, hospital fact sheet and tape to tape it on the wall (bet it'll annoy the hospital staff LOL!)
  • Wallet, ID and hospital card
  • My PC (notebook) and spare adaptor (they might have only ONE electrical socket!) 
  • Phone, charger and USB adaptor
  • Camera, charger (at this rate I'll need a separate bag for the chargers and cables alone!)
  • Oil burner, candles and oil (this is optional, I doubt they will let me light candles there!)
  • Books and magazines (specifically the Lamaze book, the Pregnancy Q&A Book and whatever novel I'm on at the time)
  • Notepad and pen (good for saying "Leave me alone" if I don't wanna talk)
  • Breast pump  

The Baby Bag 
  • Diapers: disposable & cloth
  • Receiving blankets x 3
  • Swaddling cloth
  • Green froggy blankey (for transit)
  • Muslin cloth x 1
  • Small towels  x 5
  • Hooded towel  x 1
  • Newborn rompers x 3 sets
  • Going home outfit x 1
  • Mittens, booties, hat, bib x 2 sets
  • A small musical toy 
  • Baby wipes

Daddy's Stuff 
No serious packing here; just a small reminder for my trusty birth-partner!
  • Baby Travel System (install infant seat in car, keep stroller in trunk; doubt a newborn should be strapped into it as yet)
  • Dad’s camera ( I bet this is the first thing he will think of without any prompting whatsoever anyway!)
  • Magazines, books, or anything else to pass the time
  • Phone (packed with games?) with charger (we can share the charger actually)
  • Change of clothes
  • Basic toiletries i.e. toothbrush, toothpaste etc.

Gosh, it appears as if I'm gonna be there for a week! Knock-on-wood I pray not! Looking at my checklists above I wonder how did women in medieval times give birth with such minimal assistance and so much less preparation! Well readers, do feel free to holler if I forgot anything!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

What's In A Name?

What's in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.

~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

When Baby's gender was revealed in April, everybody started asking if we've found a name. The name says everything, naturally. We had some idea of the a name but we were not quite ready to reveal it publicly at that time, for fear of us changing our own minds! So we decided to wait a few months till we felt more certain, and the official announcement came during the Baby Shower.

Naming a child is a BIG thing. The name can make or break the kid in future. I guess every couple goes through their own personalized child-naming process, most girls would have even dreamed of a thousand baby names since the beginning of puberty; and I'm sure we've all had great fun naming all our toys, dolls and pets!

I would imagine these would be some basic naming styles:
  1. By initial; this is most common; if the father's name starts with an 'A' then all the children starts with 'A'
  2. By ancestors; I know in the west they have the tradition of honoring their grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles, etc.
  3. Some traditional old Chinese clan follows a clan reference book or a 'family' reference for their Chinese names.
  4. Some Chinese consults clairvoyants and soothsayers who will then analyse the baby's date and time of birth plus various other 'astrological' factors.
  5. Catholics and religious enthusiasts will choose Biblical names and names of Saints, Prophets or prominent religious activists. My dear dad in his Catholic-phase has chosen to name my younger brother that way.
  6. Naming kids after favorite movie stars, world leaders, celebrities and athletes. Strange enough I was named this way as in the year I was born, a certain Malaysian sprinter won some gold medal for the first time hence my first name was named after her, alas, I ain't no athlete, sorry Dad! (sorry cannot reveal name here ya *wink*) In fact, my dad was on standby to name me Maradona if I was a boy *thank God no*
  7. The Arts; this is quite unique and covers the world of arts and theater,  (e,g, Shakespeare, my favorite!), books, music and the pseudo-reality world. I know someone who chose Elvish names for his kids and the names are quite interesting and unique. But beware though, to call your kid Demetrius, Frodo or Gandalf may have lasting damaging effects.
  8. Going green; this may have risen out of the seventies Hippie-era where people started naming their kids Crystal, Valley, River, Rain, Holiday, Marijuana and the like *haha*
  9. Going crazy: I'm not a big fan of quirky names like Apple, Dodo, Ditzy etc.
  10. Going ethnic: names in Sanskrit, Hebrew, ancestral languages can be interesting if done right.
So how did we name our Baby? Here are the criteria which formed the parameters we worked around; a process I'm happy to share:

Start with Elimination.
  • Firstly, eliminate names of all your friends, siblings, frenemies, ex-partners and their spouses, siblings and kids. How many of you have at least two 'Jennys', three 'Stephanies' and five 'Johns' in your phonebook?
  • Eliminate unisex names; I'm so sorry but ambiguous unisex names are way too risky for many reasons. So as much as I know and love several Jamies and Justins we'd rather not have the kid start life without a gender specific name, identity crisis abounds badly enough already, so this is one issue we can do without. 
  • Eliminate names given to pets in the past and present!
  • Eliminate cartoon characters (Betty, Bob, Barbie, Thomas), fast food chains (Wendy's) and popular brand names (Armani, Carter, Gucci)
  • Eliminate pretentious foreign names! I know of a certain Chinese-educated person who is painfully 'Ah-Beng' in every sense of the word calling himself 'Pierre' *vomit*choke*vomit* And please, Chinese girls (probably never been to Japan and has no Japanese roots whatsoever) calling themselves Yoko, Yuki and Hayoko etc is like a big bad joke.
Factor in Phonetics
  • Names should have a nice ring or melody to it. This applies specifically to synchronizing first and second names with surnames and also Chinese names. Example, Harry or Dick with Chinese surnames Kok and Long is a major NO! Virginia with surname Tai may sound like 'Large Vagina' when spoken in a Chinese slang. So be culturally sensitive ok!
  • For Chinese names, the way it's being spelt and the dialect that is chosen to be 'romanized' is absolutely crucial. Example, my name in Cantonese when romanized sounds like "Shit Lin" (serious) and in Mandarin when romanized sounds like "Xue Lian". I wished they romanized it in Mandarin but then my surname would have to change and the result would be "Zhiang Xue Lian" and we can't be having different dialects in ONE name!
Factor in point #5 as we are after all believers, so that comes into play.
  • A Bliblical touch would be nice to remind the kid of a higher calling.
  • A noble Biblical name with a strong meaning also helps the child identify himself with that personality. I know this is true because I've seen alot and my dear Hubby himself is rather proud to be associated with the great apostle of the New Testament which is his namesake. But then again some great Biblical names are way too common e.g. David.
  • But be careful though, calling your son Israel (a great name indeed) in this country may evoke some unpleasant sentiments.
Minus any hint of corny-ness and cheesy-ness
  • For example;  it would be the height of cheesy-ness to name your kids Burt and Elmo, seriously. No no also for Athos, Porthos & Aramis, tsk tsk!
  • And while Mary and Martha are inspiring Bible characters, to name your daughters such would fall into the realm of corny-cuteness. And how many sisters do know named Grace & Joyce? At least one in every church I've been to!  Lovely names no doubt, but can you say "common"???
Factor in point #6  
  • While we shall not deliberately name the child after questionable celebrities, do scan and see if there are world famous (or infamous) personalities sporting the name we have in mind so at least it's not entirely offensive, laughable or downright disasterous.
  • So please think carefully before naming your child Adolph or Napoleon. Or Paris, Nicole and Tyra. It would be quite safe to just google the name and see what comes out, you never know; the name you chose may be one of a wanted serial killer or a Nobel prize winner for inventing the ultimate hand-held solar-powered vibrator.
Make it unique; or better yet or lace the name with greatness for boys and beauty for girls.
  • I personally like weighty names that are a little complicated, long and strikes a chord of rhyme and awe with people. Example for boys; Maximus, Constantine, Emmanuel, Sebastian etc.
  • For girls; genteel beauty with a classic touch is something I personally like; names like Rose, Lily, Victoria are not only rare in our era, they are ever-green.
Think of possible nicknames / short-forms
  • Kids and adults alike can be cruel enough to spin off all sorts of weird and wicked nicknames from the chosen name, so try and nickname-proof it, scan through various languages and dialects as well.
  • Some names comes with generic short-forms that are widely used, example, while Richard represents the greatness of English kings, no one can stop kids calling Richard a Dick-head in school.
  • Also, a name should not be a short-form, but the complete name should be spelt out. This is just an idiosyncrasy of mine. Example, it should not be Bart officially, it should be Bartholomew and then Bart for short, likewise it's not Max in your ID, but Maximus or Maximilian and then call him Max for short.
And now to the final result *drumroll* we have decided on:

Lucas Emmanuel

Lucas - of Greek Biblical origin, a variant of Luke, a physician and writer. Also means to "illuminate" or "bring light". This name bears our hopes and desires that our son will light up our lives and lives that he will touch; "Light of the world and salt of the earth" (Reference: Biblical Baby Names & My Baby Name)

Emmanuel - Hebrew for "God is with us", a tribute to the good Lord for being ever faithful, and being so good to bless us with a son, and in turn may our son always keep the Lord close to him and walk with Him all his life. A heavy name but not too severe as a second name.

As for the Chinese name; the grandparents are not imposing any guidelines and they have zero preferences. So we'll see if we're moved to create one or not. I would love the Chinese characters to have the meaning of JOY and INTEGRITY; two essential virtues to lead a happy and contented life.

So there you have it; Baby's name and how we came about it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Birth Plan

I've been reading up on my impending BIG EVENT ... which will take place in about 6 weeks from now. It's a BIG EVENT because my status in life is gonna change forever and we're gonna be PARENTS. Which is naturally a BIG THING. Heehee.

So anyway, being inspired by the Lamaze method and all thing natural, I've decided to write a BIRTH PLAN. I know it seems like I'm being so dramatic, those who know me well enough and has seen my 30-page typed, printed and bound wedding manual would consider my 2-page birth plan a breeze by my standards!
 
I don't really know what to expect other than what I've heard and read, so I'd like to be prepared for contingencies and not lose control to a series of medical routines that may not be absolutely necessary but performed merely for the sake of comfort and convenience. I strongly believe that our bodies are designed to give birth naturally and we should aim for a birth experience as natural as God has intended it to be. Of course sometimes emergencies arise and that's where the ob-gyn works his magic with modern medical technology. My objective here is not to take medical intervention as my FIRST option nor as an easy way out. Of course, we don't deny that in many cases clever medical intervention can save lives and I'm definitely opting for that in the case of an emergency.

My research has led me to this and yet I'm not sure how accepted are pre-written birth plans in Malaysian hospitals. One main reason for having this is because  I'm quite paranoid that I'll be in too much  pain and distraction to respond with correct decisions in the throes of labor. The last thing is I want is the medical team doing a bunch of routines on me while I'm not in the sound state of mind to protest!

I'm sharing my birth plan here as it may be of some help to others and as I'm also so new  to this, I'm open to advice and feedback from the more experienced of you lot. Also, to give credit where due, this birth plan is a result of extensive research online but most of my final draft here is adapted from Childbirth.org and Birthplan.com

This birth plan is intended to express the preference and desires we have for the birth of our baby. We fully realize that situations may arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed. However, we hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options. Our aim is to have a completely NATURAL vaginal birth as much as possible, hence we wish to be consulted on all necessary medical interventions and be clearly informed of all consequences of each medical procedure. Thank you.

Privacy
• Only allow husband and my mother in labor and birth
• Would prefer not to have students, residents etc and any unnecessary staff
• Keeps doors closed at all times

First Stage (Labor):
• Standby my asthma medication e.g. ventolin inhaler
• Music of our choice via iphone / notebook
• I need my own bedding e.g. pillows and blankets
• Prefer option of wearing my own clothing
• Keep invasive / vaginal exams to a minimum.
• Maintain mobility throughout labor; sit up, walk, sleep, shower etc
• Eat and drink to comfort
• No IV drip, no Heparin / Saline lock at this stage
• Relaxation techniques (music, breathing, aromatherapy)

Baby Monitoring
• Only intermittent monitoring using hand-held devices e.g. Doppler, fetoscope
• Avoid (electronic fetal monitoring) EFM unless absolutely medically warranted

Induction / Augmentation:
• If my pregnancy progresses past 40 weeks, I would prefer to base the decision to induce on the results of the baby's biophysical profiles, not on my own personal discomfort or impatience.
• Please do not rupture my membranes artificially unless the baby is in distress
• Use natural methods to induce labor
• As much as possible, no IV induction e.g. Pitocin, use Prostaglandin Gel to ripen the cervix

Pain Management:
• Heat or cold packs
• Massage
• Use analgesic pain relief if I ask for it e.g. Gas / Pethidine
• No drugs that may cause side effects to baby
• No spinal epidural unless a C-section is warranted

Second Stage (Birth):
• No supine birth; prefer as upright as possible or whatever feels right at the time
• As long as baby and I are fine, allow the pushing stage to progress free of stringent time limits
• Prefer no episiotomy, but please use compresses & massage, unless risk of tearing.
• Please administer local anesthesia when repairing any episiotomy
• No urinary catheterization
• If all is fine and I’m not in severe distress, let me cut the umbilical cord

Baby Care:
• As long as baby is healthy and normal, delay all routine assessment after bonding and breastfeeding.
• Let baby bond on my chest skin to skin ASAP, even if cord is intact
• Breast feeding only; please help baby latch on if necessary
• No pacifiers, formula or glucose water
• All assessment of baby must be done in the same room as me, in front of me or the father if I’m unconscious
• We will save the cord for cord blood banking
• No circumcision on my baby

Cesarean Birth:
• Spinal / epidural anesthesia, no GA (take not e of ASTHMA)
• My husband and mother may be present
• Final stages; lower the screen so I can see the baby emerging
• Keep baby close to me during recovery and begin breastfeeding as soon as possible

Sick / Premature Baby:
• Breast feeding as soon as possible
• Keep baby close to me as much as possible

Just for the record, this is one of my main reading reference:




Some other online resources I find really helpful are:
  1. American Pregnancy
  2. Lamaze
  3. Baby Center Malaysia
  4. The Bump

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 33: Counting Down 7 Weeks

I am now at week 33, which means I'm halfway through the last trimester. This is just a brief update of my progress at this point;

The Un-pleasantries ...
  1. Aches and pains! It hurts everytime I switch positions; be in in bed, sitting to standing etc.
  2. Leg cramps in the middle of the night; this sucks big time.
  3. Mobility; I'm super slow, which is something I am not used to, me being the natural speedy pocket rocket that I am.
  4. Breathless! I'm always panting and huffing and puffing like an old person! Utterly unglam!
  5. Bloated; compact lil' me is now even bigger than Tweeter's Fail Whale! I can't even wear my wedding band!
  6. I'm running out of clothes to wear, the repetition now is on a 10 day rotation or less, which by my standards is damn sad. Plus, I can barely find the motivation to iron those that need it.
  7. I'm down to one pair of flats which is already giving way, which also by my standards are utterly pathetic, I can hear my sexy heels crying out my name every time I walk past the shoe cabinet.
  8. My hair is flat and I've lost some fair bit and yet alas I cannot color it so it's not exactly red carpet coiffure now, but it's still bearable.
  9. Anti-social; I'm in absolutely no mood to make small-talk, even to have a conversation with colleagues / associates feels like a painful chore. I just want to be left alone, I even pack my own lunch so I can stay in my shell.
  10. Irritable; i get irritated easily now, especially with people who are naggy, repetitive, annoying plus I cannot stand strangers who likes to stare at my pregnant form. I feel like scolding these strangers sometimes; like "WTF is wrong with u; never seen pregnant woman before ah???"
Counting My Blessings ...
  1. As Baby is now bigger and there are less amniotic fluid, I can feel him move, squirm and kick more often and more intense, which delights me to no end! Every move makes me smile or giggle or talk to my bump; which is really strange I know :)
  2. I thank God that I'm exempted from bad skin (breakouts) and pigmentation.
  3. People seem to think I'm glowing and radiant; it may be so but I'll have to thank Guerlain's Meteorites for this!
  4. Eventhough I can barely walk sometimes, I'm still in the mood to put on makeup *grin* 
  5. I still have a decent appetite and can basically eat everything without extreme cravings and aversions.
  6. I'm still quite into minor housework like cooking and  laundry, they are not bothering me much yet, not sure about weeks to come though.
  7. I can still drive and I don't mind driving much as it's quite relaxing for me, even in a jam.
  8. According to Doc I've only gained 11.5kg since day one and the last weight-in was purely baby weight, hence baby is not too heavy nor too huge. They say the first 15kgs gained goes first, so I hope I won't pass the 15kg mark!
  9. Dear hubby is making more effort to make me comfortable i.e. foot massages, and doing the 'cooking' when we have steamboat among other things. He's even switching his evening gym schedules to lunch hour so he can be with me in the evenings *aaawwww*
  10. Getting nearer and nearer to Baby's birthday! Will it be end August or early September; I can't wait to finally see Baby's little face, touch his tiny hands and sing a lullaby for him.
  11. I'm super thankful we have my dear mum to rely on for my confinement and we won't have to hunt around for one who is not psycho and won't cost a bomb.
  12. I have very understanding and supportive colleagues, friends and family overall, no one is deliberately making my life difficult so that's cool.
  13. Had a wonderful Baby Shower with lotsa amazing gifts and well wishes from dear friends :)
Agenda in Weeks to Come...
  1. Complete packing the hospital bag; we have two bags; the Mummy bag and the Baby bag. We have also decided what outfit Baby will wear when we leave the hospital, it's a cute Carter's romper given by Baby's Ah-Yee (my brother's wife); she brought it back all the way from the States; bless her:)
  2. I plan to clean up whatever I can of the house and the baby's room (see Cot here!) and prepare mum's cosy corner so she'll be comfortable here, alamak, plus subscribe for her Astro Wah Lai Toi!
  3. Then there's alot of pantry / grocery stuff that needs to be stocked up on since I won't be very mobile for a while.
  4. Hunt for some lullaby music CDs; the nursey rhyme type and the Sunday School types. The only one I can sing now is "Jesus Loves Me This I Know" so I need to 'teach' myself more 'baby tunes'.See la, I never did enough nursery and Sunday School duties in my youth days in church! Tsk tsk!
  5. I'm now researching learning and development activities so I know what to do with my newborn in months to come; i.e. games, play, flash cards, whatever ... the resources online are endless so there's much filtering and studying to do on my end; eeek!
  6. Go through the Birth Plan with the Doc; I will also share my Birth Plan here soon.
  7. Go through house orientation with Mum who's coming over to stay. 
  8. I've still yet to fold up all the muslin nappies! But I've learnt how to 'wear a nappy'!

Adorable Carter sleep suit from my dear sister in law, all the way from US;
just look at the monkey-bootie attached to the suit! Comel giler.

I'll have another update soon enough; probably as I'm halfway through Month Nine in August.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Baby Shower

We had a lovely baby shower last Sunday on July the fourth at my humble abode. As we wanted to keep it simple, cosy and intimate, my dear mum and hubby helped out with the food and two dear girlfriends helped with the invitation, RSVP and managing the games. Plus, hubby took lotsa amazing photos of everyone!

We had such a fabulous time; well, at least I know I did! Hadn't had such a lovely party in such a long time! Here are some of the happenings during our shower tea party ....


It's such a rare and wonderful pleasure to have all the people dear to me in one crowded room; all getting to know each other and getting cosy among good food.

My dear own mum made the yummilicious rendang and noodles, I made my favorite cincau longan dessert and we had egg tarts from Jin Xuan Hong Kong and cupcakes from Wondermilk.


Here's a look at my 32-week baby bump (7 mths) and next to me here is Mrs Top Monkey of Expatwifetalks and of course the adorable Baby Connor! Mommy-to-be sash and Baby balloon courtesy of Aunty Eve, so sweet!

Horrible host that I am made everyone play naughty games and answer stressful trivias to win prizes! It amazed me how everyone were such good sports to layan my nonsense! Love these girls!

Thoughtful gifts and lovely gestures from my wonderful babes! I feel so blessed!!!

The Krazy Koala is ecstatic at finding a pair of baby booties with Koala Heads on them! Kudos to Aunty Totoro!!!

I did a fair bit of online research for this party and we had these activities as ice-breakers and to ensure everyone had a memorable time plus take home a little memento in form of 'well deserved prizes'. I had such a lot of fun working on these I can safely say I don't mind hosting and planning another baby shower; party planner anyone???
  1. Guess The Guest Icebreaker - I came up with this;  great icebreaker for strangers!
  2. The Baby Scramble - unscramble a list of 20 jumbled pregnancy-related words
  3. The Bottle Raffle - kinda like a lucky draw but the numbers are in a baby bottle
  4. The Dirty Diaper Game - guess what's in the 6 soiled diapers; ranging from Milo to lotion!
  5. Baby Trivia & Fun Facts - a list of fun Q & A on babies and pregnancy
I'll probably detail out the games one of these days; I know it's not easy finding fun yet practical games that works in our culture

To close this post, I'd like to share this cute poem I found online, alas author unknown so I can't credit the rightful owner, but it's just so irresistible.This is specially dedicated to all who came and made my day, and also for those who could not make it but I know you would if you could have *wink*

I'm really glad that you could come
To help surprise my mother.
Sit down, relax, enjoy yourselves
and chat with one another.
Sorry I can't be with you
to share in Mummy's shower
but you see I'm very busy
cause I'm growing more each hour.
Though I'm not here to thank you
for the special gift you brought
my family and I are grateful...
we appreciate the thought.
I'll be arriving shortly
I'm happy as can be
So after I've been home a while
Please come visit me!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Beautiful Prayer-Poem by my Fellow Hobbit

My dear precious "kai mui" aka God-Sister wrote this specially for my baby shower held last week. This girl writes beautifully, it's just the way she is, some people just overflows with goodness and she is one of those. When she read it out she successfully made me tear *sniff*

It's too beautiful not to share, so here it is, I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did:

May your eyes see good in others
May your lips speak words of kindness
May your feet be quick to bring Good News
May your hands be ready for Him to use
May your shoulders be broad to lift up others
May your ears be open to people's troubles
May your mind be ever-questioning
But may your faith be a child-like thing
May you lead a righteous life
And likewise,
May you find such a wife
May you have courage to stand up strong
Hold to integrity all life long
May you have mercy on those who need it
Seek out wisdom, you will receive it
All these things I wish for you
But most of all, this, I pray you do
Know your God, the Lord of Hosts
Jesus Christ, who loves you most
Joy and Peace, you shall find
The Love and Hope of all mankind


Patience Chen Qian

Like it? You have her permission to use it if you credit her name and blog link.

Picture Credit: www.visionsoffaith.ca

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The First Nappy!

I dedicated most of last 2 weeks surfing the overwhelming world wide web for all things diaper related. I'm gonna be a new mummy in about 8 weeks, more or less and one of the things to stock up on would be diapers. Unlike some luckier others, I don't have older siblings nor too many mumsy friends to bestow a wealth of diapering advice this way, so it's helluva lotta research for me!

I'm no expert as yet but from what I've seen so far; there are basically 3 types of diapers which we will experiment with; disposables, cloth nappies and pocket cloth diapers.
  1. Disposables are a no-brainer; ridiculously easy to use, convenient and hygienic. The main downside for me is the effect on the environment and if it will cause diaper rash and allergies on baby's sensitive skin. It's also very pricey in the long run, depending on what brands you use.
  2. Cloth nappies are obviously economical, breathable and environment friendly, but it's the most hassle of the lot. These are the huge white muslin squares our Asian parents are used to. My mum will know how to deal with this and this is important as she'll be DEALING alot with it in the first few weeks *grin* Anyway the issue I have with these are mainly the aesthetics, the washing and sadly you can only use it within the convenience of the home.
  3. The pocket cloth diapers are relatively a newer invention, I'm not sure if my mum will know how to deal with these. But they are OH-SO-GORGEOUS, comes in a variety of colors, designs, material and you can even choose from a dizzying array of materials, organic, bamboo etc. The thing with these are the PRICE. Super pricey, they range from RM70 to RM100 for 1 pocket diaper shell and you'll need to buy lots of inserts, ranging from RM10 onwards each. I bought 2 sets for experimental purpose. I ordered some from this online site; Baby Pit Stop and I find they have quite a good variety, the seller is also helpful and delivery is fast. Anyway these stuff are supposed to last for years hence it offsets the initial high starting cost, I guess we'll see aabout that :)
Anyway, this post is about cloth nappies ... I just finished laundering the entire stack of new muslin nappies and then I was like uh-oh, how on earth do you fold these things??? Naturally I googled images for a diagram and I found some useful help on this Earthlings site. The fold I was looking for is the "Origami" fold or also known as the "Chinese fold".  Below is the diagram extracted from the site:







Looks easy enough. I need to experiment with it and since the baby's not here yet, I found the perfect candidate for some practise, and voila here's the result ...

I decided to try out both the nappy and the disposable, just to be sure I know how this works and not look like a fool when the real deal comes.


Somehow the first nappy looks rather loose but the disposable one fits very snugly. Any poo is gonna slip right outta my origami nappy in no time. Guess I need more practise :)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Book Sale!

Yay! The MPH Member's Sale is on! Not a member yet?  
Gasp. What are you waiting for???



 Alas, I just stacked up on some books from Borders last week, I am currently reading The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. For the record, I loved her Historian, so this is a must have. Who would have thought that swans are iconic for the erotic and aggressive part of Zeus, well, I didn't. Curious? Go read about the Greek mythology of Leda and the Swan Zeus here.